wyld_sider (wyld_sider) wrote in polyparents,

Loving someone so much it hurts

Sorry if I haven't been posting lately, but we have been going through a lot.  In posting this, I might be making my darling wife angry, but I need to get feedback.  I know she likes to keep certain things private, but I need to discuss this and at least be heard, even if by some search engine.

Tia and I love each other a lot, and we always have.  We have had some small issues and some big issues, and for the longest time, we swept a lot of the issues under the rug.  They festered and caused a lot of problems, and over the last 2 years we have been digging to get as many of those issues dealt with.  It has been a hard road, and both of us thought we were making a lot of progress.  We have both caused each other some amount of grief, and have had hard parts to our lives before we met each other.

I haven't been an angel in this, but I haven't been the devil either.  We have both been working through issues and have made a lot of progress.  That is, until June.  In June we found out that I had a job offer with a company in Copenhagen, which I am now working at.  Right about the same time, Tia found someone in her Wiccan group that she liked and wanted to meet at a pagan event where nudity was involved.  I hadn't been to the place, hadn't met the guy, didn't know anything about him, and she wanted to go, get to know him, and basically get laid by him.  There was a lot of miscommunication about the events of that day, but instead of a fling, which I think I could have dealt with, she came back saying that she wanted to start a relationship with him.

At that point, looking on the road ahead, I could see that it was going to be stressful.  Packing up, moving to another country, starting a new job, dealing with the kids and temporary housing... it was going to be a stress filled summer.  I communicated clearly that I thought it was a bad idea, due to the stress, and I got back from her that it was me trying to keep her from growing.  I tried to make her see my point, but after a couple of fights and some moping on her part, I gave in.  Whether or not she was moping, it felt like she was blaming me for not allowing her to progress further in life, while to me she was not listening to me.  She pointed out that on our first foray into poly, I was not listening to her, and it felt like she was trying to justify her reaction by equating it to an event in my life that I have out and out admitted was one of the stupidest things I have done.

The relationship turned out to add multiples of stress to an already stressful summer.  It felt that she was so anxious to have someone other than me provide some sense of desire to her life, that she was not listening to me more and more.  I was in pain and trying to deal with it, and she could see it.  She has always had some low self-esteem, and she had started complaining that I should find someone better than her, as she was not what I needed.  The way she phrased it, it was not in the poly sense of complimenting, it was in the mono sense of replacing.

But during our conversations about it, it felt like she was belittling me for asking for respect from her guy.  She openly stated a number of times that I was just trying to impede her growth, and no one would ever be able to respect me enough.  We had fights over it, and she started getting more distant.  Every time she defended him and his lack of respect, it felt like she was taking another step away.  She asked a number of times if I wanted her to leave, and the number of times she complained that I should find someone better increased.  As all of that increased, I felt that she was starting to slide into depressing, closing in on herself and getting more and more into a dark hole she was adamant that she could dig herself out of.

Was I an angel during this time? Relationship wise, there was only Tia.  Due to the stress, some of the issues that I had been doing better on before the summer fell by the wayside.  So I tried my hardest, and had issues.  In addtion to all the stress Tia was experiencing, there was also the extra relationship, and me doing my own retreating.  Each time we got into a fight, I retreated a bit, convinced that I had to let Tia grow and sacrifice myself, because that was the only way to make her happy.  Once her relationship had started, the pain of her not listening was already done, and I felt that if I would have not tried to make progress in dealing with my issues, I was not loving Tia.  All of this time, she thought I was retreating

About a week before we left, she saw him one last time, and when she came back she said she finally saw that he was not respecting me.  She still spent time talking and kissing with him that night, but she told me that when she got home.  At the same time, we were both withdrawing from each other: me because it felt like she wasn't listeneing to me about her new friend and lack of respect, her because she thought I was trying to impeded her growth.

Since moving to Denmark, the stress has grown a bit, but has started to level off.  Tia's immigration papers are still pending and having had to deal with the stress of having the kids home all summer has not helped.  We both have had issues dealing with the time change, and we have both been sharp with the kids and each other.   But due to the time before we arrived here, instead of being there for each other, we turned on each other and kept on fighting.  I don't think either one of us meant to do it, we just fell back into bad patterns that we had established long ago, and resurfaced due to the high stress levels.

Because of the stress, my stomache has acted up a lot and made me grumpy.  Because of the stress and issues, Tia has felt more and more depressed, and her libido has disappeared.  While in my mind I understand that it is a factor of depression, having battled it unsuccessfully for years before Tia helped me, in my heart it felt like she was pushing me away even more and blaming me for her failed relationship.  For what its worth, I am autistic and have battled depression for a lot of my life, and she has Croehn and has also battled it for a fair part of her life.  Both of us have communication issues, but both of us love each other a lot.

The other night, we got into a massive fight.  This one has dragged on for 2 days.  After hearing her ask to leave a number of times and having her comment that I should find someone better than her (mono way), not someone to compliment her (poly way), when she asked me the other morning, I told her that if she wanted to leave, she should.  It was said in anger, pure and simple.  After a knuckle dragging fight where she asked me 3 times, I finally responded.

Was that the smartest thing? No.  Am I sorry about it? Mostly.  I think that at that point I needed to say something to make sure she would understand how hurt and in pain I was.  Between having her not listening, withdrawing from me and us, and thinking that she was slipping into depression, I needed to say something. 

There is some good to this.  We both know we love each other.  We started talking again, and once again, we laid a lot of cards out on the table.  We both admit we need to work on communiction.  We both admit that we felt that we were talking and the other wasn't listening.  We both know that we need to deal with these issues and others.  We both know we are tired of the fighting.  We both know that when we get stressed, our higher brains shut down and our established patterns start winning out.

We started last night by making a list in OpenOffice writer about what we think all the issues are, and are also going to work on one of expectations.  I know it sounds pedantic, but we think that having the issues spelled out will help.  I want to nuture a healthy relationship and make sure we deal with the rest of the issues, but I admit I don't always think clearly about the best way to tackle these issues.

Can anyone offer kindly advice and help?  I love Tia dearly, and want help in dealing with these issues.  I really want to make sure that we have as many good ideas on how to progress as possible to give us the best chance to deal with everything.  I want to make sure that I change to be a better person and spouse, and believe that Tia also wants the same thing.

Any advice on similar situations or thoughts on either side are welcome.

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